Organic SEO

Looking at Best Practices for Writing the Page Title

Writing the Page Title

The clickable titles that take users to pages found in search results are now known as title links. Previously they were referred to as meta titles or simply as page titles.
It’s helpful to have a new term to distinguish them, because a meta title and a title link can be different pieces of text even though they’re both page titles.

You can indicate your preference for what you want Google to display as the title link by writing descriptive text in the element.

Whether Google uses your preferred title, or chooses an alternative, the text within the element will be used for search ranking purposes.

These are Google’s best practices for writing titles:

>>> Make sure every page on your site has its own title specified in the element.<br /> >>> Create unique titles for each page and avoid boilerplate text.<br /> >>> Keep titles concise and avoid unnecessarily long text.<br /> >>> Write descriptive titles and avoid vague text such as “Home” for the home page.<br /> >>> Don’t repeat text in titles for the sake of adding more keywords.<br /> >>> Brand your titles by appending the name of your site to the front of them.

As you’re following these best practices, here’s how to avoid common issues that could lead to Google replacing your preferred title.

Common Issues with Title Elements
Google lists these as the reasons why it the title link in search results may differ from the title element.

>>> Incomplete: Titles are half-empty or missing any kind of descriptive text. Example: | Site Name
>>> Obsolete: The title has not been updated to reflect an update to the main content. This discrepancy could occur on something like yearly roundup article that uses the same URL year after year.
>>> Inaccurate: The title element doesn’t accurately reflect the main content.
>>> Micro-boilerplate text: There’s repeated boilerplate text in the elements for a subset of pages within a site.

If you avoid all the issues, and follow all the best practices, Google could still decide to replace your preferred title with something else. Should that be the case, this is where Google is likely to pull the text from.

How Google Generates Title Links
Title links in Google’s search results pages take into account both the content of a page and references to it that appear on the web.
Google aims to display a title that best represents and describes each page.

The following sources are used to create title links:

>>> Content in elements<br /> >>> Main visual title or headline shown on a page<br /> >>> Heading elements, such as

>>> Other content that’s large and prominent through the use of style treatments
>>> Other text contained in the page
>>> Anchor text on the page
>>> Text within links that point to the page

Page titles are read and used by both users and the search engines to understand what a page is about. They are important for search engine optimisation (SEO) as page titles are used in rankings, and vital for user experience, as they are displayed in browsers, search engine results and on social networks.

Remember that page titles are used more than 80% of the time by search engines as the clickable title in their search results.